Last Updated on June 3, 2023 by Angel

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How to get an international driving license- Introduction

An International Driving License (IDL) is an official document that allows you to drive a motor vehicle in foreign countries. It supports the translation of your driver’s license into multiple languages and is in over 150 countries worldwide. If you plan to travel to a foreign country and want to drive a car, you will need an IDL. In this article, we will guide you through the action to gain an international driving license.

7 Easy steps to get an International Driving License

Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

Before you qualify for an IDL, you use it to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. The criteria may differ from one country to another, but typically, you should meet the following requirements:

  • You should have a valid driver’s license from your home country.
  • You would be at least 18 years old.
  • You may need to have held your driver’s license for a certain period, usually one year or more.
  • Your home country should be a signatory to the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, which established the IDL system.
  • You can check if your country is a signatory to the Convention by searching online or contacting your local driver’s license authority.
Step 2: Determine the Appropriate Authority

The process of gaining an IDL may vary depending on your country of residence. In most countries, the local automobile association is allowed to issue IDLs. In some countries, however, the relevant authority may be the national driving license authority or the transportation ministry. You would determine the appropriate power in your country by contacting your local driver’s license authority or searching online.

Step 3: Obtain an Application Form

Once you have determined the appropriate authority, you need to obtain an application form for an IDL. You can get the form in person from the relevant authority’s office or by downloading it from their website. Ensure that you get the correct kind for your country of residence.

Step 4: Fill in the Application Form

The application form for an IDL requires you to provide your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, address, and passport details. You will also need to send details of your driver’s license, such as the issuing authority, license number, and issue date. Additionally, you may need to provide details of your intended travel, such as the countries you plan to visit and the dates of your trip.

Step 5: Submit Supporting Documents

Along with the completed application form, you will maintain to submit some supporting documents. These typically include:

  • A photocopy of your valid driver’s license and
  • two recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Payment for the application fee.

Some countries may require additional documents, such as proof of identity or residency. You should check the requirements with the relevant authority before submitting your application.

Step 6: Wait for the Processing

After you have submitted your application and supporting documents, you need to wait for the processing. The processing time may vary depending on the country, but it usually takes one to three weeks. You should apply for an IDL well in return for your travel to allow sufficient time for processing.

Step 7: Collect Your IDL

If your application is approved, your IDL from the relevant authority’s office. The IDL is usually valid for one year from the date of issue. You should carry your IDL with you whenever you are driving in a foreign country.

Additional Tips and Information

The IDL is not a replacement for your regular driver’s license, and you should carry both documents when driving in foreign countries.

You should keep your IDL in a safe place, such as a travel wallet or document folder, as it is an important document. Some countries may have specific driving laws or requirements that are few to those in your home country. Therefore, before you travel, it is advisable to research the driving license and regulations of the countries you plan to visit.

It is important to note that an IDL does not guarantee that you will be sure to rent a car in a foreign country. Car rental companies may have their requirements, such as minimum age and driving experience.

The IDL is only valid in conjunction with your regular driver’s license from your home country. If your driver’s license expires or is closed, your IDL will also be invalid.

In some countries, it is illegal to drive without an IDL actually if you have a valid driver’s license from your home country. Therefore, it is most to obtain an IDL if you plan to drive in a foreign country.

Some countries may require us to have additional documents or permits to drive, such as a permit to drive on highways or in certain areas, and check the requirements with the relevant authorities before traveling to a foreign country.

It is important to remember that an IDL is only valid for non-commercial vehicles. If you plan to drive a commercial car, you may need to obtain additional permits or licenses.


Obtaining an International Driving License is a relatively straightforward process that requires you to meet the eligibility criteria, even an application form, fill it in, and submit the supporting documents. The processing time may vary depending on the country, but it usually takes b/w one to three weeks. It is best to keep your IDL in a safe place and carry it with you when driving in a foreign country. Additionally, you would research the driving laws and regulations of the countries you plan to visit and obtain any additional documents or permits required. With these steps in mind, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free driving experience in foreign countries.

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